I am excited to have Meaghan Jackson from Joyful Mud Puddles posting for us today about her family’s favorite books from around the world. Check out her piece. Maybe you will find some new favorites!
My boys love listening to stories. Whether I’m telling them a story, acting one out with toys, listening to podcasts and audio books, or curling up with a good book, my boys are captivated! I am always happy to nourish their love of literature. So today I thought I’d share a few of our favourite books with you.
My boys are currently ages five and seven. The following books I’d say are great for approximately ages four to eight as read alouds or for slightly older children if they are reading independently. Some you may have already heard of, and the last few may be newer to most readers.
I’d say most families have heard of Curious George by H.A. and Margaret Rey. We have three books with several stories in them each. George’s antics often remind us of our own children. He learns valuable lessons and is always getting into some silly mischief. These books have been made into a television series and movies. My boys think it’s kind of exciting to read a story that goes along with what they’ve seen on TV. When TJ, my oldest, was six years old he chose the original Curious George story to create a lapbook for a local homeschool literature fair. We were able to pull so many different topics to learn from.
The Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Williams are simple enough for my emerging reader and engaging enough to keep us coming back for more. They are silly and fun, perfect for my two older boys! The writing in these books is all in speech bubbles similar to a comic book. Each character has his or her own words written in a speech bubble with a corresponding color so it is easy to see who is speaking. From reading these stories my boys have learned a lot about dialogue and expression. The simple pictures are so well drawn that my boys will break into giggles just looking at them. There are over 20 Elephant and Piggie books in the series, even more if you are interested in William’s Pigeon books too.
Fact and fiction come together with the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. With 28 titles in the original series and even more with the Merlin missions, these books will take you around the world throughout history. My boys love hearing about Jack and Annie’s adventures, often wanting to complete a whole book in one sitting! The topics of these adventures spark their interest which has led us to the library to further explore volcanoes, dinosaurs and more. TJ has already started to try and read a few words on the pages, while my middle son loves falling asleep at night to the audio CD’s.
Growing up in England, my mom often read stories of Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem. The exquisite pictures with amazing detail are the first thing you’ll notice when you open a book. These stories tell of the adventures of the mice that live in Brambly Hedge. There are seasonal stories and a few more exciting adventures. They are gentle timeless tales, showing how a community of little mice all work together.
Anything by Elsa Beskow would be a wonderful addition to any family library. My boys loved it when I made little pipecleaner dolls and acted out the book called Woody, Hazel and Little Pip. The illustrations for these books are beautiful. Elsa Beskow’s stories are gentle gnome and animal tales that cover a variety of seasons and topics. She has written more than 25 children’s books.
My boys regularly request Donsey of Gnomes by Sieglinde De Francesca for bed time. TJ chose this book to present for the literature fair this year. He drew a picture of each gnome featured in the book and shared a little about his adventures. There are seven wonderful stories about different gnomes with various jobs who live in Limindoor woods. One gnome plants acorns. Another grows crystals. There are twin brothers who spin yarn and more. At the back of the book are suggested crafts and activities to accompany each of the stories. The last story in the book ties all of the adventures together.
The final books I’d like to share with you come from Japan. I lived there for a year after high school. We were able to find the English version of these books and I have kept them ever since. My boys adore hearing about the adventures of a little girl called Momo-chan, her cat Poo and family. I have three of these books, which follow Momo-chan’s life from a baby to school age. They are fictional stories, and although some things may get lost in translation for my young children, they are charming to read. Little Momo-chan by Miyoko Matsutani.
We have plenty more fiction and non-fiction favorites at home. Hopefully I’ve inspired you to check out something new.
What are your favorite books for children? Please share in the comments.
Meaghan Jackson lives in Ontario, Canada with her three young boys and husband. She spends her days at home living life, learning, exploring, playing and creating with her children. She also works closely with her husband to operate a fire alarm and electrical company. In her free time Meaghan usually has a crafty project on the go and blogs over at Joyful Mud Puddles. You can also connect with Meaghan on her new Facebook page.